alpha contract coverRating: 3.75 stars
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Length: Novel

 

As an omega, and one with health issues at that, Brook is looked down upon by his family. Brook works endless hours at the family business, and is certainly much more competent than his alpha brother, but no one respects the work he does or believes he can handle taking over as CEO when his father retires. In fact, Brook’s father is trying to force Brook into marriage with an alpha mate who can “guide” and manage him. Since Brook knows his only chance at being CEO is with an alpha mate, he decides to take matters into his own hands and find his own alpha. If he hires someone to mate him, Brook can control the situation and find someone just looking for the money, not the control over Brook or to try to run the company himself.

Brook gets connected with Dimitri, who is down on his luck and in need of funds. Dimitri is rough around the edges and nowhere near the type of man Brook’s snobbish parents would want for him. But if the men can get mated quickly, Brook’s parents won’t have a choice and he can force their hand. Dimitri needs the money badly enough to agree to create a mating bond with Brook, throw some alpha weight around now and then in front of others, and mostly keep his mouth shut while Brook handles his job in the company. Though Dimitri has never been into men before, he figures he can make it work with Brook, at least long enough to make the bond.

Once the men are mated, nothing is quite like Brook expected. Dimitri is far more sweet and kind than Brook thought and is a good mate for him. Dimitri supports him and believes in him, and is willing to step in and use some alpha charisma when Brook needs it. Brook even finds himself falling for Dimitri, but he can’t help but be wary. He knows Dimitri is only in it for the money, not to mention Dimitri isn’t attracted to men. Brook is sure that Dimitri can’t want anything real with him. But as the men spend more time together, what started as a fictitious partnership is turning into a real connection, if the men can only be honest about how they feel.

The Alpha Contract is the latest book in Eliot Grayson’s entertaining Mismatched Mates series. It very loosely connects with Lost Touch, the prior book, in that Brook and Drew are cousins. However, Brook doesn’t appear in the last book and Drew is only mentioned in passing here. So you can easily read this on its own, both from a plot and a relationship perspective. This story also doesn’t feature series regulars, the various members of the Armitage clan, so it is definitely a book that stands alone.

This story has a fun set up with a fake relationship kind of vibe in the sense that the men are pretending they are actually romantically involved (though the mating itself is real). I liked seeing Brook take control of his own situation and manage it in a way that outsmarts his awful father. There is an opposites attract element here, with wealthy, polished Brook paired with the more rough around the edges Dimitri. But I also like that Dimitri is nothing like what he first seems and, by my view, actually the nicer guy in that Brook has a bit of snobbery and low expectations of Dimitri based on appearances. There is an alpha dominance vibe here and Dimitri is strong and controlling in bed, which Brook loves, but doesn’t want to love. He struggles so much to show his family he is worthy of their approval that he fights against himself and his own desires sometimes. So I liked to see that progression where Brook slowly accepts that he can have what he wants with Dimitri. There is a nice, sexy connection between them and I enjoyed watching their relationship unfold.

While I did enjoy the set up, some of the details didn’t all come together for me. It was never clear why Brook assumed finding an alpha mate of his own would mean his dad gave him the CEO job, and since this is the foundation for me Brook’s actions, I wanted that more clear. And as much as I liked Brook sort of outsmarting his dad by finding his own alpha, he still puts himself in a position where he is relying on his mate to convince people he is competent and worthy of their approval. When Brook goes to meetings, they don’t listen to him now because they suddenly respect him; they listen to him because Dimitri is there and Dimitri is an alpha. So there is a sense of Brook rigging the system, but at the same time, Brook is still not valued by anyone for anything other than the man he mates and that left me feeling unsatisfied. Also, his family is awful and treats him horribly, yet Brook gives in to them at pretty much every turn. I needed more to understand why he works this job where everyone treats him badly, why he does whatever his parents say even as a grown adult, etc. I think more delving into his character would have helped me better understand Brook’s motivations and reasoning.

The story also relies a lot on Brook’s assumptions about Dimitri’s interests, and even as Dimitri seems pretty clearly into him, Brook assumes it is all for show and never talks to him about it. Brook also worries a lot about what happens when this is all over and they break the bond, again without talking to Dimitri. Which also struck me as confusing, as I’m pretty sure we never see them talking about an end point to things or when they will break it off, but Brook acts like a clock is ticking on their relationship.

Overall, I feel like there is a lot to to like here, and if you enjoy the style of this series, I think you are going to find this one appealing as well. I just felt like I needed a little more developed on both the plot end and the character side to fully round out the story.

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